Gone are the days when the thought of buying a home would mean worrying about breaking the bank and doling out all your savings. Whether you buy a home to live in it or to make a property investment, the cost of having your own space can be very high if certain key concerns aren’t addressed.
Real estate developers seem to be coming up with a plethora of projects every year in a bid to enable buyers procure their dream home. While almost every builder tempts interested home buyers with the best housing schemes replete with world-class amenities, it all comes with a hefty price tag.
Purchasing a house is no longer a distant dream as it used to be, thanks to the easy availability of credit in the form of home loans. Taking out a loan is a crucial decision, and can seem like a daunting and complicated process. However, a careful consideration of all the important factors connected to it should hold you in good stead when you take the plunge.
The loan amount and your eligibility
While you are the best person to decide the loan amount that needs to be taken out, it sometimes makes sense to consult lenders in case of confusion in money matters. They may be able to guide you towards picking a scheme that’s best suited to your needs.
As far as your loan eligibility is concerned, the amount to be sanctioned depends on your income, history of repaying loans and credit card dues. Be certain about how much you can pay out for your Equated Monthly Installment (EMI) every month before taking out a specific amount of loan.
It is also important that you work out how much or how little you can afford to borrow without losing your sleep. The amount you eventually borrow will determine the repayment, so make sure you don’t end up borrowing more than you’ll be able to pay regularly.
Analyze your current financial situation, monthly earnings and expenditures when considering your down payment and repayment options. Apart from that, you will also have to factor in the elements which may affect your income in the future, fluctuations in interest rates, and the lifestyle you hope for while still paying off the loan.
Types of home loans
The type of home loan you choose can have a major impact on its repayment as the rates of interest you pay can vary. There are two main types of loans:
Fixed – The rate of interest remains the same for the entire term. Fluctuations in the interest rate (whether there is an increase or decrease) fuelled by market changes will have no effect on the amount needed to be paid by you. Since you will be paying the same amount throughout, this type of loan is easy to budget.
Variable – The rate of interest changes according to the changes in the market rates, due to which your repayments will vary as well. This may not be easy to budget.
It makes sense to go for a fixed loan if the interest rates are low at the time of taking out the loan. However, if the interest rates are high but on a gradual (but certain) decline, a variable loan could prove to be the better bet.
Choosing your lender
Before you decide on a lender, it is advised that you carry out detailed research to find a suitable financial institution for a home loan. Check with a few well-known banks and financial companies for their terms and conditions, loans and repayment options.
Apart from that, consider other important aspects such as the customer service, early repayments, penalties, and so on.
Tenure of the loan
Decide on how long you want the home loan to go on for as this is another factor that will help you calculate your EMI. Both are inversely related, which means the longer the tenure, the lower the EMI, and vice versa.
However, the total interest to be paid by you is directly proportional to the loan tenure. If your tenure is long, you will end up paying a higher interest.
Fees and charges included
Apart from paying the interest rate, you could also be subject to paying various fees, which can make a significant difference to your total repayment amount over the long term.
Ask your lender about the various fees that may be applicable to the loan you’re considering, and if there are hidden costs and/or penalties related to late payments, redrawing, and/or exiting the loan.
Be clear about the processing fees and/or service charges as they can add up to hundreds of Naira.
There may be other useful features which you may discover as you get deeper into the borrowing process. Do not hesitate in asking your lender about them. Ask about the redraw facility for more flexibility in your loan repayment plan.
You may want to ensure that your current home loan is transferable from one property purchase to another without having to undergo the entire application process again, especially if you’re likely to move or sell the property before the completion of your loan tenure.
Certain home loan schemes come with additional features such as insurance plans and free credit cards, which you may want to consider at the time of selecting a home loan.
Before Signing the Dotted Line
Yes, reading all those pages of the home loan document can be tedious, but doing so is extremely important. Read the documents to ensure that the terms and conditions are the same as were agreed upon, and ascertain the various charges applicable to you.
For most of us, the decision of buying a home can be an emotional one. Having said that, the affordability aspect of it is one which needs to be considered objectively. Otherwise, you will not be able to enjoy your purchase as managing the funds will always be a cause of worry. When you take out a loan, make sure you choose one which offers feasible repayment options, ensuring that buying a home does not become an impediment to your other plans.
At GTBank, we offer facilities for people who are looking to buy a home. Are you interested? Check this out.